What should I pack for an Alaska cruise?

What you pack for an Alaskan cruise will depend on the local area weather, the shore excursions you'll take, and the activities and events available onboard your ship.

Alaska Cruise Weather

Throughout the summer, temperatures in Southeast Alaska range from the mid-40s to the low 60s. It can go from clear and sunny, to windy and drizzly quickly, but in general, the weather is cool and misty. A good rain coat and a warm, lightweight fleece jacket will keep you comfortable, as will a hat, gloves, and scarf. If you get cold easily, a light down jacket is also a good option. See this page for more information on Alaska weather.

Alaska Cruise Shore Excursions

Aside from standard casual clothing, the shore excursions you plan to take will dictate your packing list. If you're planning on any activities outside, pack warm base layers (like long underwear), wool socks, and synthetic pants and shirts. You'll want to avoid wearing cotton if you're hiking or kayaking, as it takes a long time to dry, and doesn't stay warm when wet. A comfortable pair of walking shoes is also a must, or hiking boots, if you are planning to participate in more adventurous excursions.

Alaska Cruise Clothing

Alaska is a very casual place, with locals opting for clothing more practical than stylish. The activities on your cruise ship may call for something more elegant than jeans and hiking boots, particularly on those cruises hosting formal nights. Check with your cruise line to see what their requirements are for formal wear and pack accordingly. Be sure to bring a swimsuit and sandals for trips to the spa as well.

Below is a sample list of items to pack for your Alaskan cruise:

  • Warm base layer (long underwear)
  • Synthetic pants and tops (not cotton)
  • Quality waterproof rain jacket
  • Warm fleece or light down jacket
  • Warm hat, gloves, and a scarf
  • Wool socks
  • Casual clothing (jeans, t-shirts, shorts, leggings)
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
  • Waterproof/water-resistant shoes or boots
  • Formal wear if needed
  • Swimsuit and sandals
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera and memory cards
  • Chargers for all electronic devices
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Small backpack or day pack